Pro-establishment lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, who has been accused of inciting hatred against those who advocate Hong Kong independence by saying they should be killed without mercy, said he does not see anything wrong with his remark.
During a rally at Tamar Park in Admiralty on Sunday, Yuen Long district councilor Tsang Shu-wo said pro-independence activists should be “killed”, to which Ho added: “Without mercy!”
The rally was held to press the University of Hong Kong to sack associate law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting for his role in the 2014 Occupy Central movement.
Ho also said there is no other way to deal with those activists besides killing them all.
In a joint statement, 22 pan-democratic lawmakers called him “cold-blooded” and asked the police and the Department of Justice to take action, saying Ho violated the law by inciting violence.
Ho called the accusation absurd.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Ho, a lawyer by profession, fought back by claiming “kill” in Cantonese is an expression with multiple Hong Kong usages, Apple Daily reports.
“Kill without mercy is not meant to incite people to kill someone but stands for ‘those who kill others deserve no mercy’,” Ho wrote.
The post ended with “Come on and sue me for intimidation, you idiot”.
The police confirmed on Tuesday that they have received reports from some people who demanded an investigation into Ho’s utterances.
The case has been transferred to the Regional Public Order Event Investigation Team of the Hong Kong Island Regional Headquarters.
Asked by the media if Ho broke the law, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor declined to comment, saying it is something for the police and the Department of Justice to decide.
She said no rude, insulting and threatening speech is acceptable no matter the stance.
She warned that discussion of Hong Kong independence on campus will push Hong Kong closer to danger, as well as ruin its relationship with Beijing.
“Loving our country does not mean acting or speaking in a stupid way, like Junius Ho,” said executive councilor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who chairs the New People’s Party. “It will do our country no good to have stupid ‘patriots’.”
Meanwhile, the Law Society of Hong Kong, which Ho previously chaired, refused to comment, saying Ho did not make the utterances as a lawyer.
However, lawyer Alan Wong Hok-ming, who is also a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group, was skeptical about the law society’s stance.
He said Ho’s controversial remark has perhaps damaged the professional reputation of lawyers as a whole.
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